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Who is Paul Manafort, the man indicted in Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation?

Published: Monday, October 30, 2017 @ 11:24 AM

What You Need to Know: Paul Manafort

On Monday, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort surrendered at the FBI field office in Washington, D.C. after being indicted by a grand jury in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The grand jury approved the 12-count, 31-page indictment on Friday, and a federal judge ordered it sealed. It was unsealed Monday morning. Manafort and a business partner, Rick Gates, surrendered at the FBI Washington field office. 

What do we know about Paul Manafort:

  • Manafort was born in 1949. He grew up in Connecticut. He earned a law degree from Georgetown University.
  • Manafort worked for former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.
  • He was the chairman of Donald Trump’s campaign but resigned in August 2016 after revelations surfaced about his work on behalf of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych was a supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin. 
  • According to The Associated Press, Manafort “helped a pro-Russian governing party in Ukraine secretly route at least $2.2 million in payments to two prominent Washington lobbying firms in 2012, and did so in a way that effectively obscured the foreign political party's efforts to influence U.S. policy.” All U.S. lobbyists must declare publicly if they represent any foreign leaders or political parties. 
  • The New York Times reported that Manafort spoke to Russian intelligence officials last year via telephone calls that were monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies. Manafort has denied that he spoke with the Russians. 
  • Manafort has also been linked to handwritten ledgers that list cash payments of $12.7 million in Manafort’s name. 
  • According to Politico, legal complaints filed by representatives of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska in the Cayman Islands in 2014 claimed Deripaska gave Manafort $19 million to invest in a Ukrainian TV company. After the venture failed, Manafort took the money, the complaint claims, and did not pay Deripaska back. 
  • Trump hired Manafort's lobbying firm to help the Trump Organization. 
  • CNN reported that federal investigators wiretapped Manafort both before and after the 2016 election.
  • Federal investigators executed a “no-knock warrant” at Manafort's home in northern Virginia on July 26, 2017. Manafort had met with the Senate intelligence committee the day before. 

Paul Manafort And Rick Gates Indicted

Pentagon accidentally re-tweets call for Trump's resignation

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 11:52 AM

Pentagon Deletes Accidental Re-Tweet Calling For Trump's Resignation

A post on the Pentagon’s official Twitter account called for President Donald Trump’s resignation on Thursday when a message was mistakenly re-tweeted, according to officials with the Department of Defense.

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The tweet was quickly deleted, Politico reported.

The original message was posted by Ryan Knight, who goes by the Twitter handle @proudresister. Knight pointed to calls for U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, of Alabama, to step down amid allegations that he sexually assaulted multiple women, and for Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, to resign after recent allegations that he forcibly kissed a woman in 2006 and groped her as she slept.

>> Related: Roy Moore's accuser, wife pictured in yearbook under same high school class, report says 

“The solution is simple,” Knight wrote. “Roy Moore: Step down from the race. Al Franken: Resign from congress. Donald Trump: Resign from the presidency. GOP: Stop making sexual assault a partisan issue. It’s a crime as is your hypocrisy.”

Moore has denied any wrongdoing. Franken apologized on Thursday and called for an investigation into the 2006 incident.

>> Related: Sen. Al Franken accused of kissing, groping news anchor without consent

The post was shared for a brief time Thursday on the Department of Defense’s official Twitter account.

Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said that the re-tweet was posted accidentally.

“An authorized operator of the @DeptofDefense’s official Twitter site erroneously retweeted content that would not be endorsed by the Department of Defense,” White said in a tweet Thursday. “The operator caught this error and immediately deleted it.”

More than a dozen women accused Trump of sexual misconduct in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. He emphatically denied the accusations, which dated back to the 1980s.

>> Related: Who is accusing Trump of sexual misconduct?

The accusations were made after a 2005 video surfaced in which Trump made derogatory comments about women.

"You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” Trump said in the video. “Grab them by the (expletive). You can do anything."

First lady Melania Trump defended her husband's comments, telling Fox News in 2016 that her husband's words were offensive and inappropriate but that they did not reflect his views on women.

Rev. Jesse Jackson diagnosed with Parkinson's disease

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 12:28 PM
Updated: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 12:32 PM

What You Need To Know: Jesse Jackson

Well-known civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson announced Friday that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

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“Recognition of the effects of this disease on me has been painful, and I have been slow to grasp the gravity of it,” he wrote in a statement released Friday. “For me, a Parkinson’s diagnosis is not a stop sign but rather a signal that I must make lifestyle changes and dedicate myself to physical therapy in hopes of slowing the disease’s progression.”

Thanksgiving 2017: How to fry a turkey without burning down the house

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 3:30 PM

Thanksgiving - By the Numbers

It’s become a tradition in many families – instead of roasting the Thanksgiving turkey, they fry it up in a vat of oil. 
Some say the idea of frying the holiday bird came from Justin Wilson, the Louisiana chef who made everything Cajun popular a few decades ago.

According to an article in Vogue, in 1996, Martha Stewart Living published a photograph of a deep-fried turkey for its November issue. 

The New York Times included a piece about deep-fried turkey a year later.

While people who have included frying a turkey as part of their holiday celebration swear by the moist taste, frying 15 pounds of bird is not without its risks.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to cooking the bird without burning down your house.

1. Pick the bird.  With frying turkeys, small is generally better. Go for birds around 10-12 pounds. If you have a big crowd of turkey lovers coming for dinner, fry two of them.

2. Prepare the bird. There is an important step in frying a turkey that you don’t necessarily take when you roast one. It is important, really important, that the turkey is completely thawed (no ice on it at all) and that it is dried off when you lower it into the oil. Just remember, oil and water are not a good mix.

3. Don’t forget to season. After the bird is thawed, season it liberally with salt, pepper and any other seasonings your guests would like. Some people use “turkey injectors” to shoot seasoning under the turkey skin.

4. Don’t forget the cavity. And while you are in the cavity, make sure you get the giblets out of there. For those new to turkeys, it’s that bag that is stuff into a frozen turkey that contains the neck, the heart, liver and other parts that were once inside the bird in a different fashion. You can do all of this the day before Thanksgiving and put the bird in the refrigerator until it is show time.

5. OK, your bird is ready. It’s time to set up the frying gear. First, and most importantly, you will be doing the frying outside, not in or near a garage or a carport. Turkey frying isn’t a family activity. Make sure the kids and the pets are inside while you fry. That’s very important.

6. Now comes the setup for the fryer. What you generally get when you buy a turkey fryer is a metal pot, something that looks like a coat hanger, a burner, a thermometer and a gas regulator. The other thing you need is oil. You want an oil that can stand up to high heat. Peanut oil or cottonseed oil is a good choice.

7. How much oil do you need? That’s a good question. Here’s an easy way to figure it out. The day before you fry, take the bird, still in its packaging, and lower it into the pot. Cover the turkey with water. Make a note of how much water was needed to cover the turkey. That’s how much oil you will need. (Note: You want to leave at least 3-5 inches for the top of the pot clear for safety’s sake.) . 

8. Now, find a level spot to put the burner. Fill the pot with the amount of oil you measured by using the water the day before. Turn the burner on and heat the oil. The oil should be at 340-350 degrees before you lower the turkey into it.

9. Putting it in. Take the hanger-like device and stick it in the turkey. The legs should be facing up, the breast down.

Slowly lower the turkey into the oil. Use long oven mitts while you do this. Once the turkey is in the oil, take out the coat-hanger device and let the turkey sit.

10. How long do you cook it? Here’s a ballpark estimate: allow 3 1/2 minutes for every pound. So, for a 12-pound bird, it should take about 42 minutes. 

11. Getting it out. Once the bird is cooked, put the hanger-like device back into the bird. Remember to wear the long oven mitts. Carefully lift the turkey out of the oil. Allow it to drain a bit, and then place it on a platter. Check the temperature of the bird. It  should be between 167 and 180 degrees. If the temperature is OK, leave the bird alone for a while. If it’s not hot enough or is undercooked in spots, you can put the turkey back into the oil.

 
 

NFL investigating allegations Jameis Winston groped Uber driver in 2016, report says

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 1:43 PM
Updated: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 2:21 PM

Jameis Winston Denies Groping Allegations

Update 2:27 p.m. EDT Nov. 17: Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston on Friday denied that he groped a female Uber driver in 2016, saying in a statement that he believes “the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her.”

“The accusation is false, and given the nature of the allegation and increased awareness and consideration of these types of matters, I am addressing this false report immediately.”

BuzzFeed News reported Friday that the NFL is investigating the alleged incident, which happened in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The driver, who was not identified, told BuzzFeed that Winston “reached over and he just grabbed my crotch” as they were waiting for food in the drive-thru of a Mexican restaurant.

“I am supportive of the national movement to raise awareness and develop better responses to the concerns of parties who find themselves in these types of situations, but this accusation is false,” Winston said. “While I am certain that I did not make any inappropriate contact, I don’t want to engage in a battle with the driver and I regret if my demeanor or presence made her uncomfortable in any way.”

In response to the incident, Uber barred Winston from using the service.

Original report:The NFL is investigating an allegation that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and former Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston groped a female Uber driver in 2016, BuzzFeed News reported Friday.

>> Read more trending news

Lisa Friel, a member of the NFL’s special counsel for investigations, sent a letter to the female Uber driver on Thursday confirming that the NFL is looking into the matter, according to the report.

The female Uber driver told BuzzFeed News that she picked up Winston in the early hours of the morning on March 13 in Scottsdale, Arizona. She said that Winston “behaved poorly” immediately when he entered her vehicle.

Later in the drive, when they waited for food at a Mexican restaurant drive-thru, Winston “reached over and he just grabbed my crotch,” the woman told BuzzFeed.

Soon after the ride, the driver filed a formal complaint with the company, writing that “apparently a big athlete in the NFL” reached over “and put his fingers on my crotch.”

“It wasn’t my stomach or thigh, it was my crotch and I want to be clear about that,” she added in the complaint. “He is NOT safe for other drivers.”

Uber banned Winston from using the service in the future, according to BuzzFeed.

“The behavior the driver reported is disturbing and wrong,” an Uber spokesperson said Friday in a statement. “The rider was permanently removed from the app shortly after we learned of the incident.”

Winston’s representative, Russ Spielman, issued a statement denying the allegations, saying the Uber driver “was unable to identify the specific individual who allegedly touched this driver inappropriately. The only reason his name is being dragged in to this is that his Uber account was used to call the ride.”

While at Florida State, Winston was accused of raping a female student. The alleged assault, which occurred in 2012, was not made public until 2013 amid the controversy of a cover-up by the school and Tallahassee police.

The woman in the case, Erica Kinsman, sued the University. In 2016, she and Florida State reached a settlement that would pay her $950,000.

Winston is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.